Diodoro Approaching Milestone

December 28, 2022

Diodoro’s Bal Harbour tenacious in the Tinsel Stakes at Oaklawn Dec. 17. (Coady Photography)

Oaklawn Barn Notes by Robert Yates

HOT SPRINGS, Ark.—Robertino Diodoro, Oaklawn’s leading trainer in 2020 and atop the early 2022-2023 standings, entered Wednesday with 2,991 career North American victories, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization. Equibase’s totals are based on races in the United States and Canada.

Only 36 trainers in history have reached 3,000 career North American victories, according to Equibase, the last being Jeffrey Radosevich Dec. 19 at Mahoning Valley in Ohio. Diodoro, 48, has eight victories through the first six days of racing this season at Oaklawn, including a double Dec. 18 (Ninja Warrior and Kattath) to push his career total to 2,987. Oaklawn was dark last week in observance of Christmas, but Diodoro added three victories at Turf Paradise in Arizona, where he has a division of horses, and another there Tuesday. 

Diodoro will have at least 15 horses entered through Jan. 3 at Turf Paradise and Oaklawn, which resumes racing Friday. Diodoro has nine horses entered Friday at Oaklawn, with entries for Saturday and Sunday pending Wednesday morning. Diodoro has 287 career victories at Oaklawn.

The Canadian-born Diodoro began wintering in Hot Springs in 2015 and became just the fourth trainer in Oaklawn history to reach 50 victories at a meet in 2020 when he amassed 51. Diodoro also finished second to perennial Oaklawn champion Steve Asmussen in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2021-2022. Diodoro’s fast start in 2022-2023 includes two stakes victories, increasing his career Oaklawn total to 12.

Asmussen, North America’s all-time winningest trainer (9,964 through Tuesday), is among seven Oaklawn training champions to reach 3,000 career victories. Jack Van Berg (6,523), Bill Mott (5,268), D. Wayne Lukas (4,886), Bernie Flint (3,550), David Vance (3,192) and William Hal Bishop (3,058) are the others.  

Asmussen, who has collected a record 12 Oaklawn training titles, Van Berg, Mott and Lukas are all members of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Asmussen, Vance and the late Cole Norman are the only trainers in Oaklawn history with at least 50 victories at a meet. Norman set a single-season Oaklawn record with 71 victories in 2003.

@Jonathanstettin Very well written article. The sport will be missed by many...The time is now

Kirkrobinson @OaklawnLover View testimonials